The city of Austin is preparing to pay Harry Whittington $14.1 million for a downtown block he once owned that has been the center of a 14-year condemnation battle.
The payment, which the City Council is scheduled to consider Thursday, could end the protracted legal fight waged by Whittington, an 86-year-old Austin lawyer whom former Vice President Dick Cheney famously shot and wounded during a 2006 hunting trip.
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1999: The city asks Harry Whittington about selling a downtown block his family owns to build a parking garage and cooling plant. Whittington refuses. A condemnation lawsuit ensues.
2000: A condemnation board votes to give Whittington $3.66 million. But a process server’s mistake nullifies the condemnation case.
2002: A new condemnation board says the city must pay Whittington $7.6 million. He appeals. A county court-at-law judge rules that a parking garage is a public use for which the city can condemn the block.
2003: A Travis County jury decides the block is worth $7.7 million. Whittington appeals the court-at-law ruling and again sues the city, arguing that officials failed to condemn an alley on the block.
2005: Newly built parking garage opens.
2007: A jury rules that the city illegally condemned the block for economic development purposes rather than public use. The jury values the land at $10.5 million.
2010: An appeals court agrees with the jury.
2012: Texas Supreme Court rules that the city didn’t act fraudulently when it condemned the block. This frees the city to pay Whittington for the land.
This week: City prepares to pay Whittington $14.1 million for the block, as it awaits a judge’s decision on how much it owes.